Twenty files seeking permission for coconut land blocking out is pending before the province’s chief minister.
With the CM’s approval, one company by the name Liyanage Properties has already fragmented a coconut land at Giriulla.
In the NWP alone, 110 companies are registered for the highly-profitable blocking out of coconut land.
According to the existing laws, coconut land of more than four acres in extent cannot be fragmented.
CM Dharmasiri Dassanayake, minister S.B. Nawinna and the divisional secretaries are the members of a committee that considers requests for blocking outs.
It has received 57 applications.
How the laws were changed
The provincial council in 2003 adopted regulations to prevent the fragmentation of coconut land in the province.
It included a requirement for Coconut Cultivation Board permission for a blocking out.
However, the laws were changed in 2014, transferring to the provincial commissioner the CCB’s powers to grant the permission.
That followed another amendment in 2015 to prevent all obstacles to the fragmentation of coconut land.